By John Colson
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
Carbondale’s citizen planners have put off making any recommendations regarding a proposed City Market grocery store project, known as the Carbondale Marketplace on the west side of Highway 133, following an initial public hearing on Jan. 21.
The matter was continued until the next meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), on Feb 4.
At the Jan. 21 meeting, according to town planner Janet Buck, four members of the public were present for the public hearing.
The project owner, the Kroger/King Soopers grocery chain that owns Colorado’s City Market stores, plans to build a new, 58,000-square-foot grocery store; roughly 7,000 square feet of connected retail spaces; and a gas station kiosk with pumps, all on slightly less than eight acres northwest of the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133.
The development plan is contingent upon an agreement from the current owners to subdivide the larger, 23-acre parcel and to sell the 7.8-acre portion to Kroger/King Soopers.
Under the application before the P&Z, the 7.8-acre parcel is to be subdivided into five separate lots, two of which (lots 1 and 5, at the southern and northern end of the overall parcel) will not be developed under this plan.
Those two lots (roughly 14 acres), which still are owned by the limited liability corporation that proposed two earlier development projects on the site, are to be reserved for future uses, while lots 2, 3, and 4, which make up the central portion of the larger parcel, are to contain the development now being proposed.
Buck said the P&Z discussion included questions about how would patrons get from one to the other without having to go onto Highway 133, if lots 1 and 5 are to be developed in the future.
Discussion also focused on a proposed “three-quarter movement intersection” at Highway 133 and Nieslanik Avenue, at the northern end of the Carbondale Marketplace site, which would preclude Marketplace patrons’ turning left to go northbound on the highway.
Buck said the applicant proposed a traffic light at that intersection, “but that would have required a median in the new center lane of the highway,” she reported. “It also would have required closing three or four driveways on the east side of (Highway) 133,” she continued, which would restrict public access to businesses across the highway from the Carbondale Marketplace.
In her memo to the P&Z about the Marketplace proposal, Buck noted that the Colorado Department of Transportation has suggested instead that a future roundabout be planned for at least one of the access drives into the Marketplace project, perhaps at the Industry Way intersection with Highway 133.
In general, Buck told The Sopris Sun in an e-mail, there has been little opposition to the proposed relocation of City Market from its current spot in the existing Crystal Village Plaza shopping center.
The 23-acre site for the proposed new grocery store once was owned by Colorado Rocky Mountain School, but the school sold it in 1999.
Published in The Sopris Sun on January 28, 2016.